The arrowroot is a tuber of tropical origin. Used both in cooking and for its medicinal properties, this root is used primarily in the form of powder or flour. Let’s find out all the benefits and possible uses.It is usually made into a powder called arrowroot flour or maranta flour. The flour is extracted from the plant’s rhizome, an underground stem with multiple roots that store its starch and nutrients. This vegetable is mainly used in cooking, as it is versatile in sweet and savory dishes, but it also has medicinal properties. In addition to being rich in protein and numerous nutrients, the root is very easy to digest, making it ideal for children and the elderly who may need more gastrointestinal food.
Arrowroot is a starchy root vegetable similar to cassava and sweet potato. Like many starches, it is high in carbohydrates but offers many other nutrients. A 1-cup serving (about 120 grams) of sliced raw maranta root contains:
- calories: 78
- carbohydrates: 16 grams
- fiber: 2 grams
- proteins: 5 grams
- fat: 0 grams
- gusts: 102% of the daily requirement
- phosphorus: 17% of the daily requirement
- iron: 15% of the daily requirement
- potassium: 11% of the daily requirement
It has a higher protein content than other tubers, with a whopping 5 grams per 1 cup (120 grams). In addition, it provides over 100% of the daily requirement of folate (vitamin B9), which is essential for development during pregnancy and the formation of DNA. Research has shown that low levels of this vitamin are associated with an increased risk of congenital disabilities and chronic diseases like cancer. Additionally, it offers significant amounts of phosphorus, iron, and potassium.
Historically this root has been used for its medicinal properties. Let’s find out all the main benefits of maranta flour.
It Can Help Weight Loss
Arrowroot flour contains 32% resistant starch, which the body cannot digest. It forms a viscous gel when mixed with water and acts as soluble fiber in the gut. Foods rich in fiber and resistant starch slow digestion, giving you a prolonged feeling of satiety. And it has been shown that, in turn, this can regulate appetite and lead to weight loss. In a study of 20 adults, those who took supplements containing 48 grams of resistant starch experienced significantly lower calorie intake over the next 24 hours compared to a control group. Its high protein content can also help increase satiety.
It Can Counteract Diarrhea
The arrowroot can help treat diarrhea by firming the stool and helping you rehydrate. Severe diarrhea can lead to fluid loss, dehydration, and even death, especially in the most vulnerable, such as children. 11 people with diarrhea who took two teaspoons (10 mg) of arrowroot flour three times a day experienced less diarrhea and abdominal pain. The high starch content could be responsible for this, as it helps increase the consistency and size of the stool. In turn, it reduces the frequency of bowel movements. It can help your body rehydrate to compensate for the relative fluid loss. One study determined that arrowroot water, made by boiling flour, reduced the rate of diarrhea.
Supports The Immune System
The resistant starch content can stimulate the immune system. This tuber is a potential source of prebiotics, a type of fiber that feeds intestinal bacteria. Beneficial gut bacteria can improve your immune health by producing more vitamins and absorbing the essential minerals your immune system needs to function correctly. Plus, they can even affect how your body responds to many diseases.
Suitable For A Gluten-Free Diet
Like most tubers, maranta root is naturally gluten-free. Its powder can be used as a substitute for wheat flour. Those with celiac disease, a common digestive disorder in which gluten inflames the small intestine, must avoid this protein altogether. Cereals such as barley, wheat, and rye, as well as products based on these, contain gluten. According to research, resistant arrowroot starch can be used for gluten-free products as it helps improve texture, crunchiness, and flavor.
Arrowroot: Possible Uses
Arrowroot is most frequently consumed in the form of flour. It is used as a thickener for sauces, puddings, and jellies and as an ingredient in baked goods, such as cookies and cakes. Plus, it’s a popular wheat flour substitute in gluten-free recipes. It can also be used as a cosmetic due to its oil absorbency, although no scientific evidence exists. Other uses include:
- Dry shampoo: massage arrowroot powder into your scalp to refresh your hair without water.
- Homemade Deodorant Ingredient: Mix equal parts of arrowroot flour, coconut oil, and baking soda for a homemade deodorant.
- Talc and talcum powder substitute: by itself, this flour is said to absorb moisture, just like ordinary talcum powder.
- Homemade trick: mix arrowroot flour with cinnamon and nutmeg to make a face powder or foundation, or with beet powder for blush or natural blush, and again with cocoa powder for a DIY bronzer.
Arrowroot Flour Substitutes
Instead of arrowroot flour, you can try one of these suitable substitutes, all gluten-free:
- Corn starch: This common ingredient can be used for culinary and cosmetic purposes. How? Add one tablespoon (8 grams) of cornstarch for every two teaspoons (5 grams) of arrowroot.
- Tapioca Flour: This popular gluten-free flour tastes similar to arrowroot root. For each teaspoon (2.5 grams) of arrowroot, use one tablespoon (8 grams) of tapioca flour.
- Potato Starch: Arrowroot and potato starch contain similar amounts of amylose, a starch compound that acts as a thickener. Use one teaspoon (2.5 grams) of potato starch for every two teaspoons (5 grams) of arrowroot.
- Rice flour: Arrowroot and rice flour have similar carbohydrate contents, but rice flour is richer in starch.
Also Read: GREEN COFFEE: DOES IT WORK FOR WEIGHT LOSS?